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WALL TWP. - Groundhog Day is not until Saturday, but the St. John Vianney boys basketball team had to feel like Bill Murray's character rolling out of bed in the classic 1980's movie by the same name while themselves walking off the court at Wall High School on Friday night.

St. John Vianney took a lead into the fourth quarter but Wall - the No. 7 team in the Shore Sports Network Top 10 - closed the game out on both ends of the floor to lock up a 53-48 win over the Lancers.

It was the second time Wall defeated St. John Vianney this season and the Crimson Knights won by the exact same final score in each game.

Wall junior Pat Lacey, tracked by St. John Vianney sophomore Nate Williams. (Photo by Paula Lopez)
Wall junior Pat Lacey, tracked by St. John Vianney sophomore Nate Williams. (Photo by Paula Lopez)

Wall had to recover from a rocky third quarter to win on Friday. St. John Vianney ripped off a 15-2 run that spanned most of the third to swing a seven-point halftime deficit into a 37-31 lead.

Senior Quinn Calabrese hit the third of his five three-pointers before the end of the quarter to pull the Crimson Knights within three heading into the fourth quarter and sophomore Colin Ackerman opened the fourth-quarter scoring with a game-tying trey.

Calabrese connected on a go-ahead three-pointer to cap a 9-0 run and give Wall a 40-37 lead - one it would not relinquish. Calabrese added one more three that made the score 46-41 and finished with a game-high 19 points.

Junior Logan Peters also came up with a crucial basket, converting a transition layup as he was fouled to give Wall a 43-39 lead.

Junior Pat Lacey also pitched in nine points for Wall, which closed the game by going 6-for-8 from the free-throw line in the final minute.

As sharp as St. John Vianney was in the third quarter, the Lancers went that cold in the fourth. They went more than six minutes without a field goal, even failing to convert a trio of fast-break layups during the drought. SJV did manage to work its way to the free-throw line and shot 7-for-8 in the quarter.

Sophomore Nate Williams led the Lancers with 17 points, including 7-for-7 from the foul line. Senior Alex Leiba added 11 points and senior Brian Stuart poured in nine on three three-pointers.

Wall (14-4, 10-0) is now a perfect 10-0 in Class B North play - two games ahead of second-place Matawan (9-7, 8-2) and now four ahead of St. John Vianney (12-5, 6-4). The Lancers entered the week two games out of first place and on a six-game winning streak, but lost to both Matawan and Wall by a combined nine points.


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